On March 9, 2021, the White House announced the addition of Venezuela to the list of countries with citizens eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS for Venezuelans will allow thousands of people who fled the civil unrest there to remain in the United States with legal standing. This new designation of TPS for Venezuela enables Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently residing in the United States to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.
WHAT IS TPS?
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.
The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:
Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facie eligible):
Are not removable from the United States
Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
May be granted travel authorization
Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.
TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:
Applying for nonimmigrant status
Filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition
Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible
WHAT MUST VENEZUELAN NATIONALS DO NOW?
To be eligible for TPS, you must:
Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation;
Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and
Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country. The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.
The period for Venezuelan registration applications opened on March 9, 2021. The last day to file during the initial period is September 5, 2021. Applications must reach USCIS by September 5, 2021, so filings should be sent on or before September 1, 2021 to ensure proper receipt. The White House has provided initial TPS designation through September 9, 2022. Individuals who receive TPS will receive employment authorization in the United States if they file the appropriate applications with USCIS. Because thousands of individuals will apply, applications should be sent as soon as possible.
QUIRK LAW CAN HELP YOU!
If you are a Venezuelan national and you have lived in the United States since at least March 8, 2021, you are eligible to file for TPS. Quirk Law has handled many TPS cases for individuals from around the globe. We are here to help you with your applications.